Researchers have found that a common mutation in gliomas sensitises them to immunotherapy and that this could have broader therapeutic implications for all glioma patients.
The mutation of a single amino acid from arginine to histidine in a subset of these brain tumours sensitises them to treatment with immune-stimulating therapy, to which they would otherwise be largely resistant.
Having discovered this sensitivity and mapped the underlying mechanisms, the research team identified a blood growth factor secreted by tumours harbouring the mutation that holds promise for making treatments against gliomas more effective.
In a mouse model of glioma without the IDH1 mutation, administering G-CSF, the blood growth factor produced by their mutant cousins, more than doubled median survival times. When immunotherapy was also added in, the effect was even more profound, the study found.